College of William & Mary Honors First Black Residential Students With Mural

From left: Janet Brown Strafer, Karen Ely and Lynn Brile, the first African-American students to live on campus at the College of William & Mary (Courtesy photo)
From left: Janet Brown Strafer, Karen Ely and Lynn Brile, the first African-American students to live on campus at the College of William & Mary (Courtesy photo)

A mural depicting the first black students to live on campus at the College of William & Mary will be unveiled later this month.

The ceremony, set to take place Aug. 31 at the Williamsburg, Virginia, school, commemorates the 50th anniversary of students Lynn Briley, Karen Ely and Janet Brown, who enrolled in 1967 and graduated in 1971.

The women recently traveled to the university to have bronze casts made of their faces, which will be included on the mural.

“This is an amazing process, and what we’re going to create is just going to be amazing; it’s just going to be very powerful,” Bob Leek, a local potter who participated in the creation of the bronze masks, said in a statement.

The mural will be permanently displayed at the school’s Swem Library.

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